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Covid–19, leadership and the presidency

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Corruption is a Nigerian

Donald Trump has been everywhere and anywhere talking and postulating about this recent scourge. As we speak, the United States is firmly becoming the latest hotspot with as many sufferers and deaths than maybe China where it came from.

As I write, the British Prime Minister has just announced his status. He has been tested positive while the Canadian Leader has announced that he was going into self- isolation because his wife had tested positive.

What these leaders all have in common is the ability to stand in front of the people and lead. They have led in such a powerful way that, like it or not, the people have a sense of security that even though they are dying, they have not been left behind.

Back here in Nigeria, I can safely say that Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state is our President. Everything now is at the back burner with the ravage and pestilence the virus has caused world over. Whole cities are on lockdown and even the Indian sub-continent with over an estimated 1billion people are indoors.

So nothing else matters, not even the Olympics. The issue in the fore front is Corona and who ever stands up to tackle it frontally is our leader.

From the very onset, this gentleman has shown uncanny courage. Jumping into the fray with the gusto of a veracious bull, grabbing the issue by the horns and riding it like a veteran bull fighter on his last rodeo had been some of his early response.

From inspecting the facilities, to numerous press briefing and policies like locking down the markets amongst others, Sanwo-Olu had paid an unscheduled visit to the International Airport, the gateway that is very critical to this fight and has since remained very resolute and bold in this struggle.

Now the ongoing rumor of the disappearance or otherwise of the ‘real’ President have not disturbed me in any way. The behavior of the Presidency has never ceased to amaze me. They have a very funny and amateurish way of choosing their battles like going after very inconsequential foes and seemingly chickening out when it matters the most to more rabid and determined foes.

The Presidency’s attitude towards this scourge leaves much to be desired, opening it up to public disdain and fueling such unfounded rumors as to the evacuation or otherwise of very strategic people within leadership.

Read also: Making sense of Oshiomhole’s reprieve

We have not seen the forthrightness of a Donald Trump on the other spectrum or the quiet but efficient leadership of Boris Johnson on the otherside. We have not even seen the radical approach of Kenyatta and Museveni or the confrontational style of the South African Presidency. What we have witnessed here is at best a seeming nepotistic approach towards the scourge which seems to have backfired with the recent announcement that a key member of state had been stricken.

The Presidency would need to do more, especially in its engagement of the people. The signing of N10b fund to the Lagos State Government is a good start. The President must, indeed, come out and be seen to lead. It is times like this that immortality is crafted. It is times like this that true leadership is tested.

We are not seeing our President in this matter but instead we are seeing Sanwo – Olu. Not that it matters, the truth, however, is just that our President is Muhammadu Buhari and not Sanwo-Olu period. Simple.

By Joseph Edgar….

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